In the December 2008 issue of Horse & Rider magazine, readers caught a glimpse of the 2007 American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman of the Year, Dale Livingston. Years of experience and dedication have left Dale with plenty to say about the industry, horses and life he loves. Read on for more quotes from this true horseman.
On the Future of the Western Pleasure Industry
"For the most part, the pleasure industry has improved over the years. The horses are better than they've ever been. I'd like to see some more clear-cut standards in the future for how the horses are to be presented, with an emphasis on the inherited traits being rewarded."
On Good Horses
"The presentation of the horse might be different in each event, but the characteristics of a good horse--a willing attitude, balance, and self-carriage--these traits of athleticism work in all disciplines, breeds, or events."
On Being a True Horseman
"You don't ever stop being a horseman. And being a professional doesn't necessarily make you a horseman. True horsemen share their knowledge, stories, mistakes, equipment, and even ideas with other horsemen. They put the emphasis on the horse and what it takes to help make it the best it can be. They certainly aren't afraid of any challenge if they're mounted on the best horse."
On the Key to Fulfillment
"If you're doing what you want to do, if you're working with horses and have the ability to ride and own horses, then you're already there, in my opinion. The horses themselves are our reward, not the blue ribbons. The blue ribbons just tell the world you have worked hard and have a good horse."
On Cow Horses
"In my opinion, today's working cow horses represent the best traits of the Quarter Horse today. They're balanced in structure, athletic, intelligent, durable, and trainable. This event doesn't allow all the fads and trends to interfere with the job at hand. Working a cow down a fence, you need a mount you can trust and one who can handle what's thrown at him in an instant. A horse who's bold and confident while heading a cow at 40 miles an hour and in a split second is willing to take an order and say, 'Yes sir, or may I?,' he would be the perfect vice president of any venture. He's capable of doing it all alone yet humble enough to take direction. This is just my opinion from observing, but they are marvelous horses with great heart, talent and try."